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Decoded: Gluten And Gluten Intolerance

Gluten is a general term for a protein found in barley, rye and wheat. Your everyday products such as pasta, baked goods, cereals and bread have gluten in them. Gluten is the name given to the family of proteins that helps bind the food to maintain its shape. Gluten is responsible for the soft and chewy texture of bread and pasta, making it the main characteristic of the protein. Heating gluten proteins forms an elastic network that can stretch and trap gas, promoting moisture retention in a variety of gluten-rich products. Gluten-free diets are becoming popular, and more and more information is being revealed about gluten.

What Is The Deal With Gluten?

The major problem with gluten is that it can cause severe side effects in a person whose body can’t accept gluten, moreover, accepting it as a toxin. If a person, without knowing that he/she is gluten-sensitive, continues to consume gluten, the side effects can range from diarrhoea, malnutrition to intestinal damage. The best way to get rid of gluten is to practice a gluten-free diet.

What Are The Common Signs Of Gluten Intolerance?

Fatigue

If you always feel tired and face chronic pain and sleep disruptions after consuming gluten-rich products, the chances are that your body is intolerant to gluten. Consuming gluten can give you persistent feelings of tiredness and affect your daily functioning.

Unexplained Weight Loss

If you are experiencing an unexpected change in your weight, it is a common side effect of undiagnosed celiac disease, the most severe form of gluten intolerance. Unexplained weight loss due to gluten happens with a variety of digestive symptoms coupled with poor nutrient absorption.

Iron-Deficiency Anemia

The most common nutrient deficiency is iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can be the first symptom of gluten intolerance and is significant in both children and adults. Iron deficiency can cause low blood volume, headaches, dizziness, weakness and pale skin.

Foods To Avoid If You Are Gluten Sensitive

  • Wheat-based foods such as wheat flour, kamut, durum, and semolina.
  • Cereals unless mentioned gluten-free.
  • Sauces such as teriyaki sauce, marinades, salad dressings, soy sauce etc.
  • Hard beverages such as beer.
  • All kinds of pasta and bread unless labelled gluten-free.
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